Ernst Kovacic was born on April 12, 1943, in Kapfenberg, Austria. He studied violin, piano and organ at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, in Vienna. Between 1996 and 1998 Kovacic served as the Artistic Director and principle conductor of the Vienna Kammerorchester. He was the Artistic Director of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra from 2007 to 2014 and he has been the Artistic Director of the Brückenfestival in Styria and the LEO Festival in Wrocław since 2009. Kovacic has been honoured with several major prizes at international competitions, including Geneva, Barcelona and Munich. His repertory includes all the major works for violin of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods and he is a champion of contemporary music. Kovacic is currently a professor at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, where he studied. In 1997 Ernst Kovacic and Beat Furrer founded the International Ensemble and Composers Academy for Contemporary Music. The symposium, for composers and interpreters of contemporary music, takes place every two years in Graz, Austria. Additionally, Kovacic has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Ernst Krenek Private Foundation in Krems, Austria, since 2002, and has been instrumental in advancing the Foundation. Ernst Kovacic performs on a 1754 Guadagnini violin.
Kovacic’s recordings include Friedrich Cerha’s Violin Concerto, works by Beethoven and Schoenberg with the Wrocław Chamber Orchestra, Krenek’s 2nd Violin Concerto, Symphonic Elegy with the Leopoldinium Orchestra, Sir Michael Tippett's Triple Concerto, Mozart's complete works for violin and orchestra, Robin Holloway’s Concerto and Heinz Karl Gruber's Nebelsteinmusik for EMI Classics. His most recent release is an album of Lutosławski’s Preludes and Fugue for 13 solo strings with the Leopoldinium Orchestra on CD Accord and he anticipates the upcoming release The Art of Fugue with the Leopoldinium Orchestra presenting works by Purcell, Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Reinecke, Moskowski, Honegger, Villa Lobos, Zeisl and Britten, also on CD Accord.
The Moldau , or Vltava in Czech, is one of six poems that make up the symphonic poem, Má Vlast, My Homeland, composed between 1874 and 1879 by Bedřich Smetana. The music for the second poem, Vltava, was begun in November and completed in December 1874, in Prague. Both the poem and the music evoke the flow of the Vltava River from its source in the mountains of the Bohemian Forest, through the Czech countryside, and into the city of Prague. This portion of the work represents the most popular and regularly performed excerpt from the six poems. Má Vlast is dedicated to the city of Prague and was intended as a single movement work lasting just over an hour. The first performance took place in Prague on April 4, 1875, with Adolf Čech conducting the Prague Provisional Theatre Orchestra, which Smetana had led as principal conductor since 1866. Shortly after starting work on Má Vlast Smetana suffered complete deafness. That September he wrote, “It was in July… that I noticed that in one of my ears the notes in the higher octaves were pitched differently than in the other and that at times I had a tingling feeling in my ears and heard a noise as though I was standing by a mighty waterfall. My condition changed continuously up to the end of July when it became a permanent state of affairs and it was accompanied by spells of giddiness so that I staggered to and fro and could walk straight only with the greatest concentration.” In August, the composer began to experience aural hallucinations and then, he reported to his friend Josef Srb-Debrnov, “on the 20th of October I lost my hearing completely.” Consequently, the majority of the music Smetana wrote for his remarkable symphonic poem existed only in his head. The composer never experienced it in performance by an orchestra.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator